High Court sets aside black mark on constable, orders promotion

Bringing relief to a police constable, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has set aside the punishment of ‘black mark’ imposed on him and directed the police higher authorities to promote him to the post of Head Constable.

The court was hearing the petition filed by P. Deenadayalan from Madurai. He was issued a charge memo in 2008 after his ex-wife lodged a complaint against him over dowry harassment. Following an inquiry into the issue, the charge against the petitioner stood proved.

In 2009, the punishment of postponement of increment for one year without cumulative effect was imposed on him. He filed an appeal before the authorities but it was rejected. He filed a revision petition and his punishment was modified to black mark.

Subsequently, he filed a mercy petition before the Home Department. It was rejected in 2013 and a government order was issued. He challenged the order. He filed the petition before the High Court in 2014.

The court was informed that the criminal case registered at the instance of his ex-wife had ended in acquittal. The woman had lodged the complaint against him immediately after he had filed for a divorce. The charge was based on the complaint given by the ex-wife against the petitioner.

Justice S. S. Sundar observed that when the disciplinary proceedings were initiated against a government employee on the basis of a criminal complaint initiated at the instance of family members, great care should be taken.

The judge observed that in such circumstances the department should be cautious in taking departmental action. When the department cannot proceed against the government servant independently, they cannot ignore the verdict given by the criminal court.

Only on the basis of the criminal complaint, the departmental action was initiated. When the petitioner was acquitted, findings during departmental action cannot be based on surmises and conjectures, in a case of this nature, when the misconduct is not in connection with the employment.

The appellate authority, the review authority and the Home Department passed the order without assigning reasons for accepting the order of the disciplinary authority, the judge said and set aside the punishment order that imposed the black mark.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:40:18 AM |

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